Family House Diaries archives
Kena Sawyers: New Lungs, New Life, Part II
A Rockingham County woman gets a second double-lung transplant on her 51st birthday, allowing her to breathe without the use of an oxygen tank for the first time in 20 years.
Jeff Mazza: A New Kidney, A New Life
A former Chapel Hill dentist now retired in Carteret County gets a second chance at life thanks to the donation of a kidney from his adult son.
Paula and TJ Brown: When Cooking Dinner is About More than the Food
A long-time nurse at UNC Hospitals and her teen-age son volunteer to cook dinner for patients and their guests at SECU Family House after being inspired by a 10-year-old boy’s commitment and action to do the same.
Family House Diaries: 2013 Year in Review
From the Outer Banks to the Blue Ridge Mountains and everywhere in between, we've met some of the finest people in the state.
Salie Babilonia: How “The Look” Speaks Volumes
A Dare County, N.C., wife and mother of three keeps her spunky, positive spirit intact during treatment for thyroid cancer, buoying herself, her family and her medical team on the journey.
Kaden Gray Robinson: The Boy with the Servant’s Heart
A 10-year-old Chapel Hill boy uses his passion for helping others to nourish the bodies and souls of patients and families who stay at SECU Family House.
Bill Clanton: When He Speaks, Pay Attention
An 82-year-old resident of Aurora, N.C., is referred to UNC Hospitals for treatment of a nasal cavity cancer in the post of tissue between his nostrils. A multidisciplinary treatment decision, the support of his family and a stay at SECU Family House see him through.
From the YaYas’ Kitchens to SECU Family House, It’s All about Belonging
A group of Triangle-based women who have been friends for nearly 30 years share their culinary talents with guests at SECU Family House. For all, it’s about more than the food.
Lamberth and Shirley Mitchell: Losing Teeth, but Keeping Spirit and Faith
A 65-year-old Person County man is successfully treated for a rare head and neck cancer, but the treatment side effects damaged his teeth and gums. He may have lost his pearly whites, but not his spirit or his faith.
Kathy DeClue: A Second Chance to Say ‘I Do’
Kathy DeClue of Randolph County was featured in Family House Diaries in August 2012. She celebrated the success of a second stem cell transplant for leukemia by renewing her wedding vows with her husband of 41 years before 80 friends and family.
John Burnett: Kindness Rules the Day
An Ashe County man witnesses random acts of kindness daily – both as a deliberate and often anonymous giver and as an ever-grateful receiver – while in Chapel Hill for the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Claudia Laskow: A Sense of Humor Carries the Day
A Dare County real estate agent refuses to let a breast cancer diagnosis and its treatment detract from her trademark sense of humor and constant outreach to others.
Don and Cindy Sills: Fighting Disease, Raising Awareness
A Craven County woman is diagnosed with a rare soft-tissue cancer on her 35th wedding anniversary. Together, she and her husband are raising awareness about cancer while she fights the disease.
Nelson Corbin: Leaning Forward in the Foxhole of Life
A career U.S. Army Special Forces officer from Robeson County takes on cancer with the same toughness he uses on the battlefield. At UNC Hospitals he finds his dream team -- including his son, who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan -- to help in the fight.
Sherman Riggsbee: Boosting Spirits Every Day
A Chatham County native who has weathered more than his share of life’s disappointments is a constant role model of compassion and encouragement for many, but none more so than the guests and fellow staff members at SECU Family House where he is resident manager.
Betty Hollingsworth: Making Stockings and More with Care
A Sampson County woman with more than a passing acquaintance with caregiving sews felt Christmas stockings, asks her fellow biker church members to fill them with personal care items and delivers them to patients at SECU Family House.
Cindy Korff: A Caregiver Gives Thanks
The mother of a 22-year-old Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune says thanks to the medical professionals at UNC Hospitals who saved her son’s life and the new-found friends-for-life who buoyed her at SECU Family House while helping her son heal.
Ann Hartline: Living Life Large with Metastatic Breast Cancer
Asheville artist Ann Hartline was featured in Family House Diaries in July 2011. Despite new medical challenges over the past year, Ann celebrated five years of living life large with metastatic breast cancer.
Heather Ledbetter: A Second Chance with a New Liver
A life-long Henderson County native receives a second chance at life with a liver transplant after a rare bone marrow disorder caused life-threatening blood clots in her liver.
Kathy DeClue: A Selfless Gift from a Younger Brother
A Randolph County woman with leukemia receives stem cells from her youngest brother in hopes of restoring her health and returning to work as a baker.
Troylene Merrill: The Importance of Caregiving
A Bessemer City, N.C. woman is referred to UNC Hospitals for treatment of a recurrence of breast cancer and brings with her a posse of support and encouragement for the journey.
Rosanne Griffith: In Search of the New Normal
A Gastonia woman seeks a new normal as she undergoes treatment for an uncommon and chronic neuromuscular disorder that left the accomplished crafter without interest in or passion for her life-long hobbies.
Collin Peterjohn: A Profound Opportunity for a Second Chance
A 25-year-old Charlotte man gets a second chance at life with a profound recovery from serious lung injuries sustained in a fire that left his family homeless.
Joyce Wilson: On Trips of a Lifetime, Planned and Unplanned
A Wayne County woman doesn’t let cancer, its treatment or its recurrence get in the way of her plans to attend her oldest granddaughter’s high school graduation or her own 45th high school reunion.
Luella Love: New Lungs for a New Life
A 48-year-old Concord woman receives a double-lung transplant, giving her a second chance at life, a life her mother had been told wouldn’t exceed her daughter’s entry to kindergarten.
David Alston: Snatching the Silver Lining from the Cloud of a Cancer Recurrence
A 42-year-old Carrboro resident prepares for UNC Hospitals’ first triple-tandem stem cell transplant in an adult for the treatment of a testicular cancer recurrence, growing in wisdom and insight along the way.
Family House Diaries: On Sanctuary
A colon cancer diagnosis forces a retired career social worker and loving mother, wife and sibling to step back from taking care of others and take care of herself.
Chuck and Brittany Pope: Drawn Closer Through Serious Illness
A young couple from Pitt County weathers a bad disease, an unexpected relapse and toxic treatments over a journey that has brought them closer after it earlier drove them apart.
Martha Jean Greene: Living the bountiful life in spite of aggressive cancer
A life-long resident of Watauga County is the model for how to live life to the fullest despite an aggressive cancer that is as tough a fighter as she is.
Tim Richardson: A gift to himself for a second chance
A 36-year-old Anson County man donates his own stem cells for a transplant to tame an exceptionally rare condition.
Family House Diaries: Being a Good Patient, Becoming a Better Nurse
Treatment for a benign tumor at the base of her skull helps a Sampson County native and Veteran’s Administration hospital nurse get everything else right in her head and be on alert for the unexpected blessings of life.
Family House Diaries: Lessons in Caring and Compassion
A 54-year-old mother from Lumberton, N.C. nearly loses her adult daughter in a horrific accident and as a caregiver offers help and healing to her daughter and to complete strangers.
Family House Diaries: Cancer Diagnosis Inspires the Artist Within
Ann Hartline, a former cardiac nurse from Asheville, N.C., credits her breast cancer diagnosis with inspiring her to take up painting farm animals and landscapes, playing the ukulele and learning to fly fish.
Family House Diaries - Jean Rogers: A Smile of Gratitude
A smile, even a crooked one, speaks volumes about a Robeson County native’s gratitude for her family, her medical team and the fellow patients she met along the way.
UNC Health Care videos win seven Telly Awards
Our real doctors, real people video about Dr. Deepak Raj Dugar won four bronze Telly Awards, and our Family House Diaries video about Ted and Mary Scercy won three bronze Telly Awards.
Family House Diaries: A New Heart + A New Kidney = A New Life
A new heart and a new kidney give a 28-year-old Wilson woman, unwell since age 7, a second chance at life. Crystal Sharpe becomes the 11th recipient of a heart and kidney transplant at UNC Hospitals.
In the spirit of giving back
Suzi Lagina, a volunteer at SECU Family House, first noticed the house one day while she was out running. "I thought, 'Gee, I might be useful there,' " she recalls.
Family House Diaries: A Priceless Friendship
The life-threatening illnesses of their first-born children unite two couples in a friendship that each expects to bind them the rest of their days.
Vote for our videos in the People's Telly Awards!
You, dear reader, are hereby asked to vote for our videos. In fact, you may vote as many times as you would like (where else can you do that without going to jail?) until Friday, April 22, and that's what we encourage you to do.
Family House Diaries: Johnny and Phyllis Deal
An uncommon tumor and two co-existing conditions it triggered have given a 55-year-old Lenior, N.C., man a roller-coaster of a medical journey. He’s also gained a precious gift: more time with his grandson.
Family House Diaries: Brotherly Love in the Form of a Stem Cell Donation
60-year-old Maxine Pender of Edgecombe County receives healthy stem cells from her older brother for a bone marrow transplant, the tried and true treatment for her type of leukemia.
Family House Diaries - How Serious Illness Binds Strangers in Life-enriching Ways
Serious illness most often brings devastating hardship, but it also has the potential to bring blessings with positive impact. Two couples from eastern North Carolina are living proof of how serious illness binds strangers in life-enriching ways.
Family House Diaries - Wesley Telsrow: Radiating a Gratitude for Life and Living It
A double-lung transplant gives a 22-year-old cystic fibrosis patient a new lease on life, complete with gratitude. For the first time in his young life, Wesley Telsrow can sleep lying down rather than sitting up and laugh without coughing.
Family House Diaries: A Thanksgiving to Remember
A double-lung transplant gives a Lincoln County, N.C., woman a second chance at life, allowing her to witness the birth of her first granddaughter, attend her son’s wedding and meet the lung donor’s family to thank them face-to-face for their selfless generosity.
Family House Diaries: Gwen and Marty Tyson
An uncommon but serious bone marrow disorder sends mortgage banker Gwen Tyson of Kitty Hawk, N.C., to UNC Hospitals for two bone marrow transplants. Slowly, Tyson’s blood counts are rising, and she looks forward to being back on her bicycle pedaling 14 miles at daybreak.
Family House Diaries: Charles and Patsy Harrison
Labors of love often involve food, and a Chapel Hill couple’s life-long love of cooking and commitment to volunteering fuels them to nourish body and soul for complete strangers twice a month.
Family House Diaries: Dana DiPerna Pillsbury
A breast cancer recurrence yields a serendipitous journey for a high school English teacher from Davidson, N.C., and leaves her with far more than the disease has taken away.
Family House Diaries: Getting Life Back After a Liver Transplant
Almost seven weeks after receiving a new liver, Dennis Foster, 56, returns to work part-time as a ranger with the U.S. Forest Service, forever grateful for a second chance thanks to the kindness of strangers.
Family House Diaries: All things work together for good
After losing their jobs and life savings, husband and wife Scott and Dottie Boeving of Wingate, N.C. are now fighting for their health. Dottie suffers from a soft-bone disease which makes mobility difficult, and Scott was diagnosed in 2009 with Stage IV non-Hodgkin's mantle cell lymphoma. Despite everything being taken away from them, Scott and Dottie are a model of faith, joy, and hope.
Family House Diaries: It’s All About the Journey
Sherri Jutz of New Bern, N.C., is living with myasthenia gravis, a condition that robs her of the energy she needs to do even the simplest tasks and to enjoy leisure pastimes. But she isn't angry about this, Jutz says, and is grateful for what she has. This is her story.
Family House Diaries: Experiencing UNC as a patient, not a student
24-year-old Cedric Faison of Battleboro, N.C., intended to spend this spring semester finishing his undergraduate music education degree at East Carolina University. Instead, he’s spent most of the term at UNC Hospitals being treated for a brain tumor.
Family House Diaries: Breathing Normally with New Lungs
For the first time in his life, Justin Hughes, a 26-year-old cystic fibrosis patient from Ash, N.C., is able to breathe normally and sleep without coughing thanks to a lung transplant at UNC Hospitals.
Family House Diaries: Living life to the fullest despite complications from diabetes
For 54 of his 58 years, Jack Newmann of Cary, N.C. has lived with Type I diabetes and its consequences, but he hasn’t stopped living.
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